It’s been 3 1/2 years since DIIV released their last full-length, the dense and complicated Is The Is Are. That record was lead singer and guitarist Zachary Cole Smith’s addiction record, but not a record where he was off drugs. It took nearly a year after that release before Smith hit rehab and started to work on himself and his health. On October 4th, 2019 DIIV will release their brand new album with Captured Tracks titled Deceiver. This is post-rehab, self reflection DIIV. This is Zachary Cole Smith digging in and finding the sources of his demons, clear-headed and looking to the future while never ignoring the past.
On lead single “Skin Game” the sound is darker, gnarlier, and less reverb-doused and dreamy. If Oshin was the dreamy hallucinogenic sunrise, while Is The Is Are was sitting contemplatively in the muck and mire, then “Skin Game” shows that Deceiver is the numbed awakening of past actions. The guitars swirl and buzz like a Kevin Shields fever dream. The drums and bass are tight and keep things anchored. Smith’s vocals are reflective and melancholy. It’s sparse and moody and instantly pulls you in.
I’m very excited for this record. I think Zachary Cole Smith is an extremely talented singer/songwriter. I’ve been a bit of a fanboy since Oshin back in 2012, and despite Is The Is Are being about 10 minutes too long, I do like that record a lot. The drug issues worried me about Smith. I was hoping he’d get the help he needed to get back on track. From first listen, “Skin Game” seems to point in that direction.
Deceiver arrives 10/4/19 on Captured Tracks. Preorder the record here.